Here We Are
It takes an "act of God" for the international community to use the words FAMINE or GENOCIDE. United Nations treaties require certain responses by the world when those words are used. So when they are used, we should all pay very close attention. Humanity is at risk, and we are all required by our humanity to respond.
Its official, parts of South Sudan are experiencing famine while the rest are enjoying the relative "abundance" of "severe food insecurity". We know that 275,000 children are very, very hungry and malnourished. Crops have not been planted and those that are poking out of the ground aren't being harvested. Something very rare in our lifetime is happening: a man-made food crisis.
Men who can't get along and their lust for power have created a situation where all are hungry, many are homeless, education is at a standstill, and medical care is almost nonexistent.
Here We Stay
It takes and you and me, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters thousands of miles away, to help them get through this crisis. When the words FAMINE and GENOCIDE are used certain responses are required by the world. Humanity is at risk, and we are all required by our humanity to respond. Global institutions are kicking into action but they are slow and water is not their highest priority.
Its official, we are not going anywhere. Birthed out of more than half a century of war, Water is Basic is a South Sudanese vision to solve local problems locally. A decade of well drilling and rehabilitation, of networking solutions to healthcare, agriculture, education, construction and church building has proved over and over again, the power of staying in the game.
There is something about keeping our minds and hearts focused on the faces of each child, each mother, each man, as we see the joy that clean water means to their daily lives. There is power in sitting in a class room, a regular work, or planting in your field having started the day drinking clean, safe, refreshing water.
In the last few weeks, we have rehabilitated 20 wells, distributed thousands of go-anywhere, life-saving filters and trucked in hundreds of bags of food. We are within reach of funding our 10,000 Sawyer filter campaign. 1,800 filters along with another truck load of food, well repair supplies, and medicine is nearing the border. They will wait there for a military escort.
So far this year I have traveled more than 40,000 miles to tell our story. I have visited church services, synagogues, and a Little River Band reunion, made bids at a homemade dessert auction, and beach to slope, been overwhelmed at the creative support behind our work. Folks are using their relationship capital to raise funds through their weddings, funerals, schools, Sunday school classes, restaurants, and classrooms.
Together we are all doing our part. I cannot conjure words that share the depth of gratefulness coming your way from our sisters and brothers in South Sudan.
Shukran! Will have to do.